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Great Lakes Barley Wine | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Very Good
12 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 02-19-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by Spider889:
Photo of Spider889
4/5  rDev +2.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this on tap a little over a month ago. Notes taken in my little book thingy, like a true dork. At the amazing GLBC brewpub.

10oz. snifter

A: Light mahogany pour with apricot hues. Was poured to the lip so no head but some wisps of lacing.

S: Ultra sweet malts. Dense sweet breads. Hops are very strong, even for a BW. Citrusy and alcoholic.

T/M: Alcohol is very potent, being on draft and all. Hops are full of citrus and pine. Malts are very sweet and on the chewy side. Almost an Old Ale alcohol complexity to it. Full, chewy, and syrupy body. Lightly dry finish with plenty of lasting bitterness.

D: The 10oz. snifter was a perfect night cap. Nice slow sipper while my food digests.

 696 characters

Photo of BamfBacon
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bierguy5
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for a special event at Dilly Deli. Hazy, brownish color, with some lighter highlights. Poured with no head at all.

Nice fruity nose. Some darker fruits, plums, maybe even a bit of fig in the back. Citrusy, tangerine, grapefruit hop aroma, with a bit of pine.

Nice caramel flavor, with some darker fruits thrown in. Citrusy and piney hop flavor. As is the case with most GLBC beers, this is very balanced and easy to drink, in spite of the size.

Lower carbonation, medium body. Again, the alcohol is so very well hidden. I would love to see this in a bottle with some age on it. Very nice.

 600 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Fireworks (Leesburg, VA). Aged one year. Not impressed.

67 characters

Photo of neenerzig
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A brand new offering from Great Lakes. I believe this is their first attempt at brewing a barley wine and a pretty good one at that. Drawn from the tap into a snifter. This beer is a somewhat cloudy copper color with a fluffy off-white head about 1/2 inch thick when drawn from the tap. Lots of carbonation going here as there were many little bubbles quickly rising to the top of my glass. Head quickly settles to a medium tan ring lining the inside of the glass. Pretty good lace. Deep aromas of barely and malt filled my nostrils along with a hint of apricot and caramel, followed by hops. Sweet and bitter flavors going on at the same time here. Sweet malt with hints of caramel and butterscotch and also citrus/piney hops. The taste of alcohol is definitely present too. Has a crisp and sort of smooth mouthfeel with a full body and moderate to heavy carbonation. I think this could benefit from some aging, but it is pretty good fresh. Drinkability is very good, especially considering the high ABV of this beer. The winning!


 1,037 characters

Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night at the Dilly Deli. Hops used are all Simcoe and it shows.

Pours a murky unfiltered apple cider color with very little if any head.

Very rigid hop aroma. Juicy with citrus and hints of earth. Dark caramel and dried fruits round out the aroma tha has a bitey edge to its esters.

Not sure if I taste this or not but hints of oxidation which really sends things to a classic barley wine flavor. As you would expect from a GLBC brew this one is very balanced. Slightly sweet middle exemplified by dates, prune,and some fig all mingled an a caramel sauce that is touched with a pinch of brown sugar comes to a bitter almost tannic finish of citrusy earthy hops. Revealing a dry BW overall that gets much more creamy and full bodied upon warming. Alcohol is nicely hidden. After about three 10oz pours however my drunkeness is not.

 848 characters

Photo of Haroldmillercota
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of cleveland
4.88/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap.
Nothing wrong with this one. Hoppy, but not too much; like the style should be. Nice body, not too thin. Very smooth. Must have put the alcohol in someone elses glass, because I didn't taste 10%. I could wine and make some stuff up to sound smart, but I liked it a lot.

 284 characters

Photo of sir_rucker
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of jpiper
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured at cooler temperature from the tap at GL into a snifter.

A golden amber color with a head which turned to a persistent thin lace in short order.

The smell was decent - fruits, sweet candy. As the glass emptied, a swirl produced smells of a soft, complex Belgian cheese, which was surprising and nice.

The taste was very sweet - with flavors of a candied sweet fruit. There was a little wheat/grain. Not much hops for balance, but there was a little there. Not quite as complex as I hope for in a BW.

Pretty average mouthfeel - maybe a little too carbonated for the style.

I got through the glass without too much drama - not enjoyable enough to keep going. A real sipper.

Not bad, but not good.

 707 characters

Photo of adamette
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery last night. Review from notes. Poured into a snifter. Barley Wine
A full-bodied barley wine with a smooth, velvety taste and mellow hop nose. ABV: 10.2% ABW: 8.1% IBU: 95

A Georgeous ruby read brown body with thin head which dissipates quickly into a minimal bubble cover. Nice look and presented well in the snifter.

S Hops but malt is able to be smelled as well with sweet alcohol.

T Hops in front but then sweet, malty middle and all of that dissipates to a nice thin finish of sweet malt. It is my favorite Barley Wine since it is the best of both worlds. You get the hop biggness and bitterness that you expect but then a great big sweetness and a smooth finish. Brilliant.

M Heavy with alcohol and big tastes. I love it. Not too much carbonation though. I really love that smooth finish that is unexpected.

D Good for a beer at this high of an ABV.

Notes: Yet another great pub exclusive from Great Lakes. Nearly every pub exclusive is better than their regular lineup IMO and that is saying something! It is not that they are difficult to get and better because of it...they are just more dynamic, interesting, challenging. Bravo!

 1,167 characters

Great Lakes Barley Wine from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 12 ratings
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